Mami Watu & Avery Young – Prodigal Child -Performance at Voices Rising:LGBTQ of Color Arts & Culture. Seattle May 2010.

It was while serving on the panel: Pot Calling Kettle Black – Heterosexism in Homo-Hop, at the 2009 Fire & Ink 3 Festival for GLBT Writers of African Descent, that these two poets came together to answer questions about the present & future of Hiphop. Is homo-hop at its core supporting or combating homophobia, misogyny and violence through its music? Is it the responsibility of the homo-hop artist to be more socially conscious? Should homo-hop be considered a separate genre? Were but some of the issues tackled by panel & audience members.

When the smoke cleared, and all was said and done, one thing was crystal clear for poets Mami Watu and Avery R. Young, and that was that as Black writers in the Life, and as Hiphoppas, only we, as practitioners can define what Hiphop is for ourselves. Neither the mainstream media nor a homophobic/hiphopophobic society can define this cultural expression for us.

Riding the Hiphop beat, through tracks produced by Michael Troy Downing and laced with gospel, funk and jazz riffs, Prodigal brings everybody into the Hiphop Upper Room. It is a chance for the audience to experience ‘the Kultcha’ as a continuum, from weathered poets who have drunk from the cup of the Black Arts Movement and are more than willing to partake in this lyrical ritual of healing and homecoming.

Prodigal Child welcomes Hiphop home, and celebrates it, in the context of cultural Come-Unity. Using the sparse, lyrical form of Hiphop h.a.i.k.u. (higher awareness is kept underground), poets Mami Watu & Avery R. Young use the 3 line/17 syllable structure to paint word-murals that leave lasting impressions. Haiku punch-lines that say, we are in this Life, in this Village. We are Hiphop and we are home.

Filmed & edited by Raanan David.


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